Tag | David Ellis
David Ellis, aged 17, reported to New Sun Cookies in Oakville, Ontario, on February 11, 1999 just in time to begin his 7:00am shift. It was his second day on the job. The day before, his supervisor, Richard Bates, had spent most of the shift teaching David his responsibilities as a dough mixer operator for the small family-run cookie manufacturer. He was shown how to operate the industrial dough mixer he would be working on, where to find the ingredients, what to add, how long to run the machine and how to remove the dough. The teenager, received no written or formal instructions on how to safely operate the machine, just two verbal tips: 1) Don’t put your hands in the mixer while it’s on, and 2) turn the blades by hand while removing the dough.
David’s father, Rob, said, “He certainly wouldn’t have asked more than “How much am I going to make” and “How many hours am I going to work”. The supervisor said it would take up to six weeks to train him, but unfortunately, he didn’t follow through with the verbal promise. The Ellis family friend, co-owner Michael Peetz, asked David to come work for him as Michael was experiencing a high turnover.
As a Training Director for a Peterborough, Ontario-based company, HRS Group Inc., I have access to information concerning health and safety from all parts of Canada. As a member of the C.S.S.E. (Canadian Society of Safety Engineering) we are constantly inundated about the many accidents in the workplace all across Canada, any subsequent fines or jail time, and any possible corrective action applied to ensure the accident(s) do not have a recurrence.
I must make my views known concerning a horrible accident from a Rona lumber yard in St. Albert, near Edmonton, Alberta. In August 2008, two teenage boys, one 17 and the other, Mitchell Tanner, just 16 years of age, noticed a large forklift in the yard, and decided to take it for a joyride. Mitchell was thrown off and killed. Neither teenager had a forklift record of training. The lack of proper supervision was very apparent.